“Fight Like a Girl,” directed by Matthew Leutwyler, takes audiences on a poignant journey through the life of a young Congolese woman who discovers a new purpose in the boxing ring after escaping the clutches of an illegal mineral mine. This compelling film is currently featured in the prestigious ‘Cinema of the World’ category at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa.
INSPIRATION FROM REALITY
During a Press Conference at IFFI in Goa, Leutwyler shared insights into the film’s genesis, revealing that it draws inspiration from a true story. The narrative centers around a female boxing club in East Congo, initiated by a compassionate soldier. This soldier aimed to empower young women who were victims of sexual violence and betrayal, helping them rebuild their confidence through the art of boxing. The film’s protagonist initially seeks vengeance for her father’s murder but undergoes a transformative journey, embracing boxing as a sport and a means of empowerment.
Realism in Casting
Leutwyler highlighted the unique aspect of the film, noting that 80% of the cast comprises non-professional actors. Many of the boxers depicted in the film are actual boxers from the interior parts of Congo, adding an authentic touch to the production. This choice contributes to the film’s realism, capturing the raw and genuine spirit of the characters.
THE LEAD ACTRESS’S CHALLENGE
Ama Qamata, the lead actress, shed light on the preparation process for her challenging role as the protagonist. Despite having no prior experience in real-life combat, she dedicated herself to rigorous training. he indulged in two hours training in the morning and two hours in the evening. This continued for six days a week. Qamata emphasized that her character goes beyond being just a boxer; it symbolizes a fight against abuse, a fight against the system, and a fight for life.
“Fight Like a Girl” follows the story of a young Congolese woman who escapes an illegal mineral mine and discovers a new beginning in a renowned all-women boxing club in Goma. This film, rooted in true events, explores themes of resilience, empowerment, and the transformative power of sport in the face of adversity.